Taylor Montgomery sees it this way: if he can get through his college career, he can really take anything the game throws at him. So it wasn’t long before he ended up as a Bubble Boy, or Mr. 26, not only in the Korn Ferry Tour scoring of the regular season, but also in the final scoring and not missing a PGA TOUR card by one place but twice .
“In this game, having a short-term memory is very good and I feel like I really developed that in college when I was so frustrated with golf because I think if someone had had my college career, he would have stopped for sure. ”“ Montgomery said with a laugh. “It was so brutal. I’m serious.
That was the low point for this game. I just couldn’t do anything and I worked my ass off and still couldn’t understand it. For me it was the most frustrating time for golf. “
This stretch not only helped him find his current trainer, John Sinclair, but also hardened him. Montgomery, a former UNLV rebel, was back home in Vegas at a golf shop when he saw Justin Lower hit a perfect pitch shot from 50 yards to last up and down at the United Leasing & Finance Tour Championship Stand and once again knock him off the top 25 and a PGA TOUR card with one shot. It was admittedly frustrating at the time, but the disappointment was short-lived.
“I’m usually pretty quick at leaving things behind. It wasn’t fun finishing 26th twice, but I didn’t think about it after that, ”laughed Montgomery. I was actually walking on pretty quickly, but everyone is reminding you, ‘Hey Mr. 26!’ Even Colt Knost gives me a lot of shit. ”
Montgomery knew that both the regular season and the finals could be a success, so it was no surprise to him when it happened. He was more frustrated that he was letting it get this far. He didn’t feel like he had been doing his best all year and as an emotional player he didn’t feel his swing was right, but his coach didn’t want to mess with it while he was playing and on the bubble. They have dealt with it this off-season, however, and he expects the iron play that has kept him from being held for the past two years will improve significantly.
“I like to play a lot by feeling, but my move wasn’t what I would like it to be,” said Montgomery. “My hip and my backswing, they worked at the same time on my downswing and your hips should move first. So that’s what I’ve been working on. It took me a while to somehow get it, but the only way I can imagine would be trying to fix it while I was playing.
It was Sinclair who eventually rescued Montgomery from its struggles after college and helped him get on to the Korn Ferry Tour and almost the PGA TOUR. Montgomery has always been a Feeling player, and his father Monte, who also played for UNLV, taught him to swing as hard as possible. He had incredible power with a swing speed of 133 mph and would fly it at 340 or 350 in the air, but he was turning hard and had no control.
“My swing was very powerful, but I could never find the golf course,” said Montgomery with a laugh. “There was one lap in qualifying in which I lost a dozen golf balls. It’s just what are you doing That was definitely the low point. ”
His swing speed is slower these days, down to about 123 mph after the work they put into his release, but it has worked since he turned pro. During the Korn Ferry Tour’s 2020-21 wraparound season, the 26-year-old Montgomery had three runner-ups and two other top 10 finishes. He qualified for the US Open 2021 and made the cut (T57). Now he is ready for the next step. Going from a two-time bubble boy to a PGA TOUR member, and he thinks that will happen in 2022.
“I’ve fixed a few things with my coach, but I feel good about the next season,” said Montgomery. “I feel like I’ve learned a few important things. I won a state open in Vegas a month ago. Just get started and I’ll probably be playing more golf in a few weeks. “